Bicycle accidents often result from something happening on the right - a car door opening or someone pulling into the street without seeing a cyclist. This causes the cyclist to swerve into the traffic lane and, unfortunately, into the path of traffic. It's vital for cyclists to be visible and be vigilant. Read on for some pro tips from our friends at Belmont Wheelworks, the official bicycle mechanic of Ride Headquarters, to keep you safe during this year's Ride for Kids, or anytime you're on the road!
- Always use front and rear lights in the evening, reflectors for your wheels, reflective and/or bright clothing, and helmets with reflective stickers or lights attached.
- Pay attention to parked cars to see if there is the possibility of a car door opening unexpectedly.
- Assume a driver doesn't see you and slow down where there are abutting streets. There is often animosity between cars and bicycles - every cyclist is an ambassador for the sport - adhere to the rules of road and be courteous to each other. It goes a long way.
- If you feel out of your depth it is better to pull over and walk your bike through the crosswalk of a dangerous intersection - it's much better to stay safe.
- Large trucks have many blind spots and cannot see cyclists - always give trucks room to maneuver with the understanding it almost certain they don't see you unless you are directly in front of them - this goes for buses, too.
- Be sure to ride single file at all times, especially when there are cars.
- If you have another cyclist behind you, alert them to any road hazards - potholes, broken glass/debris in the road by pointing to it.
- If you are going to slow down or stop put your hand down palm open to let them know.
Above all, have fun!